Banchory’s Sam Locke fed off the encouragement of former Open champion Paul Lawrie to seal a spot in the Scottish Men’s Amateur Championship final at Prestwick.

The 18-year-old is relishing his biggest moment in the game to date after taking the scalps of Nairn’s Sandy Scott and Alasdair McDougall (Elderslie) to reach the 36-hole showdown.

Locke has played for the Scotland Boys’ side at national and European level and is also part of the Paul Lawrie Foundation, with the Ryder Cup stalwart tweeting his support of Locke over the famous Ayrshire links this week.

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“Paul helps me a lot with my game, like the mental side and managing it, so it’s much appreciated,” said Locke, whose dad, Andrew, is a coach at Lawrie’s Golf Centre on the outskirts of Aberdeen.

“I pick up the phone to him now and again. When I started in the Foundation Paul gave me his number and said ‘Look, anything at all, give me a call, no matter how silly you may think it is’.

“A lot of guys won’t have someone like that to learn from, an Open champion and Ryder Cup winner. He’s been there and done so much, so it’s amazing to learn off him. When you do things well like this week, it’s good to get compliments as it gives you a big boost.”

Locke was impressive in seeing off the challenge of Scott, a European Amateur team winner with Scotland last summer, and maintained his consistency to defeat McDougall.

McDougall had earlier secured the third hole-in-one of the event at the 11th in his morning win over Kilmacolm’s Matthew Clark, but Locke was too strong as he achieved back-to-back 3&2 successes.

It is a member of this year’s Scotland Men’s European Amateur team that Locke now faces in the final, namely Ryan Lumsden. The London-born player, who is attached to Royal Wimbledon, plays for Scotland through his Edinburgh-born grandparents and his affinity for Caledonia.

The 20-year-old, who works with Scots coach David Inglis at Northwestern University in the US, still enjoys golf trips to North Berwick to visit family.

Lumsden said: “Scottish Golf has always been good to me, offered me a chance to play for them when I was about 16 and I’ve been excited to keep competing for them.

“I always played the Scottish Boys’ event over the English, for example, because of my historical attachment. I’ve always wanted to play for Scotland really, because of the heritage and history, you can’t beat it. I’ve always had that emotion.

“I played a couple of times at Boys’ level and got the call-up to the Men’s team this summer after a good year in America and it was great to learn from guys like Connor Syme and Robert MacIntyre and play on the same team as them.”

Lumsden finished with an eagle at the 16th to defeat the ever-consistent Chris Maclean from Balmore 3&2, having beaten Irvine’s Stuart Easton by the same margin in the quarter-finals. Maclean had earlier come through against Williamwood’s George Burns by one hole, after Burns three-putted the last